Posted by: atowhee | August 30, 2015

A FLOCK OF SWALLOWS MAKES AN AUTUMN

The calendar is once again out of sync with nature’s yearly cycles.  Sure, shorebirds are largely summer migrants in the Northern Hemisphere.  But today arokund McMinnville I was seeing flocks of Barn and Tree Swallows (not mixed together) hawking insects and presumably working their way south.  Tree Swallows normally hunt higher in the air than Barn Swallows who are comfortable cruising just above the grass or crop top.

Posted by: atowhee | August 29, 2015

RAIN–YES!

CURIOUS  IN GREEN  PEEK PEEK2 SHLDR TAILHIGH HUMRP2510996 (1280x960)Walnut season in squirrel-world. WALNUT

A drizzle Thursday, then an intense though brief real rain last night…maybe more to come.  Wind today as well.  Maybe a few more feet of wet shoreline for the migrating shorebirds who;ve had a hard time finding habitat this year.  Wetlands are direly shrunken hereabouts.

Posted by: atowhee | August 26, 2015

ENLIGHTENING MONOTONY

I was in Rotary Park again mid-morning.  I missed the dawn because I had too many errands to get done.  So the day had settled into the expected late summer quietude.  A few raucous warning shots from the local Steller’s Jays.  Half a whinny from some treetop Robin. The Chestnut-backed Chickadees and an inkling of Bushtits coursed through the trees, soundless.  The only sound from two different Anna’s Hummingbirds was a little wing buzzing during acceleration…their version of laying rubber in a hotrod.  First a few honks from a White-breasted Nuthatch with long rests in between; then a far-off set of triplets from a Red-breasted version.  Some ill-tempered-sounding snarls from a Spotted Towhee–heard but not seen. A female Flicker gave me a looking over and few sharp “clear” calls.  Her drumming was very soft, for food not territorial messaging. Then a series of rough-edged downward slurring calls,  each the same. Memorable only because the series ran past a dozen individual calls.  Then I saw the bird, a juvenile Hutton’s Vireo.  Saddled with the usual competitive handicaps of vireos in a warbler’s world, none of the vireos are wildly successful like the Robin or Mourning Dove.  While the Red-eyed at least is widespread in American forests, the Hutton’s is confined to only low elevation woods of a certain type in the west. Badly beset by invasive cowbirds the Hutton’s Vireo is nowhere abundant and has disappeared from parts of its former range. At least this youngster does not have to migrate this fall as do most other vireo species.  And his monotonous call is a enlightening field trait, alerting a birder to watch for motion in the trees.

McMinnville Rotary Park (Tice Park), Yamhill, Oregon, US
Aug 26, 2015 9:45 AM – 10:20 AM.  10 species

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Hutton’s Vireo (Vireo huttoni)  1
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)  2
Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica)  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (Poecile rufescens)  4
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1

Posted by: atowhee | August 26, 2015

WHALE!

This video of a Canadian humpback doing an aerial flip is must-see.

Posted by: atowhee | August 23, 2015

OSSAY IN THE SUNDAY NEW YORK TIMES

There’s an opsrey essay, hence ossay, in today’s Times.  Click here for an enjoyable read, and reminder that some government regulations are needed to keep our fellow man from totally trashing this planet.P2510111 (1280x960)OspLook--hf Osprey dines

So when are we gonna ban all forms of D-Con, the great predator killer?

Posted by: atowhee | August 23, 2015

ORGEON BIRDER 80% OF THE WAY TO NEW WORLD RECORD

Willamette Valley native and ace birder,, Noah Strycker, now has nearly 4000 species seen this year…his global goal is to see at least 5000 species…that’s over half of all known species on the planet. Most birders do not see that many species in a lifetime.

That’s a really BIG Big Year.  It’ll be a great book and could be a beautiful movie…

Posted by: atowhee | August 22, 2015

WALK QUIETLY

UPDATE: August 26 another hiker told me she’d just seen the young, white fawn.  Here’s an email from Rick Hargrave of the Oregon DFW: “Thank you for sharing the photos of the deer.  The fawn is referred to as a piebald fawn. It looks pretty healthy, which is good because typically piebald fawns are born with a number of deformities.  I hope they continue on their way into the wild!”WFAWN1 WFAWN2 WFAWN3 WFAWN5 WFAWN6 WFAWN7 WFAWN8 WFAWN9The woods were quiet this morning as I listened carefully for any bird sound.  Ahead of me a sudden flash of white got my attention. I quickly stepped behind a tree where my shape wouldn’t show.  Coming toward me the doe approached in the lead, followed by her nearly-all-white fawn.  A pair of hikers a few days had told they’d seen a white fawn in this woodland.

Later I circled back around and watched the pair head down the trail away from me.  I will share the location if you want photos.  Don’t invite any bow-toting dentists from Minnesota, please.  I see beauty while some men will see “trophy.”

Posted by: atowhee | August 21, 2015

BEARING UP IN HOT AUGUST…IN THE POOL

Bears know a good pool when they see one…watch the pool party video.

Posted by: atowhee | August 21, 2015

COASTING

Earlier this week I got to do some birding along the Oregon coast west of Salem.  A gallery of coastal images:2gulls BARN ARCHDBarn above.  Barn Swallows below, this at the mouth of the Salmon River north of Lincoln City. BARN-SWALLOZS BARN-SWALLOZS2Cedar Waxwings at Van Duzer State Rec Area in Coastal Range along Hwy 22 east of Lincoln City. CDEWA UP HIGH CEWA IN SUN CEWA-CAN DUZERBelow Dead Common Murre on beach. DEAD MURREElk along Hwy 22. ELK IN PASTURWestern Gull. GULL TOP GULLUPGlaucous-winged Gull in area, no black wing tips. gwg aloft KF DIVEKingfisher over Siletz Bay. KF HANGZ kflatOsprey over Devil;s Lake ospFLITE P2510643Gulls at mouth of D River: California left, Western right. P2510656Red-throated Loon at Gleneden Beach. RTL SILETZ SIGNYoung gull, possibly a Thayer’s. YNG GULL

Posted by: atowhee | August 21, 2015

NOT ALL CALIFORNIA WOLVES WEAR PANTS

Real, furred wolves have been confirmed to be living in Siskiyou County, not far from where OR7 and his wolf clan are known to be successfully breeding in Oregon’s Jackson County.  Here’s story about California’s first confirmed wild wolf pack since 1924!

The wolf is on the endangered species list in California and thus cannot be shot or trapped.

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